In order to preserve my old data books and application notes, I've now scanned well over 300,000 pages, all of which translates to 107 GB of data.
Depending on the paper and sharpness of the blade, the pages would often stick together at the cut, so I would have to turn every page to ensure separation or it would lead to the jamming in the scanner. I quickly discovered that double-sided scanning took three times as long as scanning two sides. This was because the scanner would have to re-flip the page at the end of the second scan so that the ejected pages would be in the same order as they were fed in. It would have been nice if the software had the option not to do that, but there were many other issues with the scanner that I would have preferred to be addressed first. (See also Monkeys Messed Up My HP Scanjet, Big Time.)
My document feeder also only handled about 40 sheets. I found an excellent PC utility -- A-PDF Merger -- that allows you to merge and interleave pages in PDF documents, so I changed my procedure to scanning one set of ~30 sheets, and then flipping them over and scanning them again. (In fact, I even used this to extract the single pages of the covers as shown on the first page of this blog.) When I had finished scanning all the pages of the book, I would then "stitch" them back together with this utility.
I calculated that I scanned well over 300,000 pages (many more if you include all the paper jams I had to recover), all of which translated to 107 GB of data. Acrobat has a feature that allows you to search inside a bunch of PDF files and -- whilst it takes some time -- I can now search far more widely than I could. As I get older, it seems that there is more to remember (at least that's what I tell myself when I can't recollect exactly where I saw something), so the PDF search capability is a great help.
In order to speed up the scan and to keep the file size down I scanned in black and white, but when I encountered an artist's name on a Western Digital databook, I realized that there was quite a bit of art that had gone into some of the covers of the books and I started to scan the covers in color. Fortunately, I was not scanning the books alphabetically or many would be in black and white. Anyone I know will tell you that I am a philistine when it comes to art, so my choice of covers on the previous page may seem puzzling to you.
You may never have considered how much effort and thought would have gone into producing these data books, but I daresay quite a number of people must have made a living in creating them.
I have shipped the data on hard disks to several people around the world. Some have even promised they will put it online. If anyone wants a copy, please let me know.